MENU

Press Release/September 24, 2015
     The Department of Health (DOH) spearheads the 1st Philippine Anti-Microbial Resistance (AMR) Summit which aims to address the misuse of antibiotics driving the emergence of AMR by making bacteria and viruses stronger that make them withstand the effect of antibiotics. AMR has become common in the clinical and community settings. AMR is the ability of microbes, such as bacteria, viruses, parasites, or fungi, to grow in the presence of a chemical or drug, which would normally kill or inhibit its growth

     “AMR is a natural phenomenon resulting from the adaptation of microbes to external threats but it is aggravated by man-made causes. The increase of drug-resistant microbial strains has been associated with inappropriate prescribing, dispensing and use of antibiotics by healthcare providers and patients.” Health Secretary Janette P. Loreto-Garin explained.

     The annual reports produced by the Antimicrobial Resistance Surveillance Program of DOH – Research Institute for Tropical Medicine, have shown increasing rates of resistance among various pathogens. Many of the causative bacterial pathogens in the ten leading causes of morbidity in the country have also acquired multiple drug resistance and at the forefront is Tuberculosis. As far as multi-drug resistant TB or MDR-TB (resistance to Rifampicin and Isoniazid) is concerned, the Philippines ranks 6th (i.e. China, India, Russia, Pakistan, and South Africa) among 27 identified countries. MDR-TB among new cases in the Philippines was found to be at 2%, and 20.9% for previously treated cases.

     In April 10, 2014, Administrative Order (A.O.) No. 42 entitled “Creating an Inter-Agency Committee for the Formulation and Implementation of a National Plan to Combat Antimicrobial Resistance in the Philippines” was signed by President Benigno S. Aquino III. The Interagency Committee aims to formulate and implement plans that can rationalize and streamline the efforts of different government agencies such as the DOH, Department of Agriculture (DA), Department of Science and Technology (DOST), Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), and Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) to address the AMR problem.

     In view thereof, the DOH led in the finalization of a National Action Plan on AMR through the Inter-Agency Committee on AMR (ICAMR). This year, the ICAMR approved a 3-year action plan entitled Philippine Action Plan to Combat Antimicrobial Resistance: One Health. The action plan specifies the strategies, activities, outcome indicators and budgetary requirements to control and prevent AMR by addressing the following key areas” (1) Commitment to comprehensive, financed action plan with accountability and civil society engagement; (2) Strengthening of surveillance and laboratory capacity; (3) Sustainable access to essential medicines of assured quality; (4) Regulation and promotion of rational use of medicines; (5) Enhancement of infection prevention and control; (6) Fostering of innovations and research and development for new tools; and (7) Development of a risk communication plan.

     “This action plan will not simply stand as a document. It is a start of greater work and responsibility that needs to be addressed.  In order to win the fight against AMR we need to work hand-in-hand. All of us have a responsibility. Magbasa. Magtanong. Kumonsulta. Malaki ang magagawa ng mamamayang may kusa para sa bayan.” Garin concluded.

 

Grandview Tower Hotel, Angeles City, Pampanga

March 25-26, 2015

     The Pharmaceutical Division (PD) of the Department Health (DOH) conducted the “Orientation on the New Medicines Access Programs (MAPs) Seminar-Workshop” held last 25-27 March 2015 at The Grandview Hotel, Clark Pampanga. The seminar-workshop is focused on improving pharmacy services in DOH hospital by addressing gaps and issues, improving drugdelivery system, strengthening linkages and networks between pharmacists and hospitals in every region, and strengthen referral and communication process between stakeholders.

     The seminar-workshop utilized a combination of didactic and workshop sessions. Short lecture-discussions provided the context of the program.

     A short introduction was delivered by Ms. Merla David Reyes (PhilHeath) on the Philippine Health Sector Roadmap from 2014 to 2016 and PhilHealth's Mandate on key health sector thrust: financial risk protection, Ms. Reyes reiterated that out of pocket (OOP) expenditures will be decreased by subsidizing health expenditures through PhilHealth's type Z Benefit Package. After which Ms. Reyes presented the No Balance Billing (NBB) of PhilHealth. The NBB policy aimed to provide financial risk protection for PhilHealth's poorest members.

     Ms. Agnes Abigail Banting(PhilHealth) presented the 2014 newly implemented All Case Rates (ACR) Package of PhilHealth. The advantages of the ACR are to contain the excess of HCPs without sacrificing the support to members, improve turn-around-time of claims payment, make the benefits easier to communicate, allow PhilHealth to introduce incentives and NBB, improve transparency and predictability i.e. Members know their benefits, push health care providers toward better efficiency, and advantageous to PhilHeath in terms of operations.

     The following day, Mr. Harold James E. Doroteo presented a mini-cross sectional study on the procurement practices of hospitals entitled "An Assessment of the Status of Essential Medicines Procurement of DOH-Retained Hospitals in 2013", the study paved the way for the workshop proper. The participants were divided into 8 groups. Dr. Anna Melissa Guerrero, Pharmaceutical Division Chief, reiterated the importance of the workshop output because it will be one of the reference on the revision of the PNF based on the drugs most needed and used by the DOH hospitals.

     Ms. Sarah Millena-Manga, Mr. Julius Jocson, and Mr. Mikee Junsay of the Pharmaceutical Division oriented the participants regarding the New Medicines Access Programs. The PD will be expected to implement MAPs for Kawasaki disease, Prematurity, Colon and Rectal Cancer, Insulin and DOH ComPack will be now available in DOH Hospitals. Moreover, the group reiterated that the MAPs goals are to decrease health care cost, improving primary health care in the poorest communities, providing complete treatment regimens, improving survival and incidence rates, and effective uniform treatment regimens in public health facilities.

     Towards the end of the seminar-workshop, the participants agreed to echo the discussions and agreements on MAPs processes and updates with their respective TC and supply officers. The DOH Pharmaceutical Division will give its best effort in disseminating information not only to hospital pharmacists but also to other key stakeholders such as physicians, and hospital administrators. 

 

Writeshop to develop the Manual of Procedure (MOP) for the Implementation of Antimicrobial Stewardship (AMS) Program in Hospitals    

     The Department of Health – Pharmaceutical Division, with support from the World Health Organization (WHO) -Western Pacific Regional Office, once again gathered its network of pilot hospitals last August 3-7, 2016 in Sta.Rosa, Laguna for a writeshop to develop the Manual of Procedure (MOP) for the implementation of Antimicrobial Stewardship (AMS) Program in Hospitals. This program, among other strategies, is part of the Philippine Action Plan to combat Antimicrobial Resistance in the Philippines and is aligned with the overarching goal of the DOH to continuously progress the quality of health service delivery for all Filipinos.

     The writeshop was facilitated by Ms. Sarah Tang and Ms. Rachel Ong as commissioned by the WHO. This was attended by the infectious disease physicians, pharmacists, laboratory personnel and nurses of eight (8) selected DOH-retained hospitals:

  1. Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center – CAR;
  2. Jose Lingad Memorial Medical Center – Region III;
  3. Rizal Medical Center – NCR;
  4. Research Institute for Tropical Medicine – NCR;
  5. Corazon Locsin Montelibano Memorial Regional Hospital – Region VI;
  6. Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center  – Region VII;
  7. Northern Mindanao Medical Center – Region X; and,
  8. Southern Philippines Medical Center – Region XI

     The final MOP on AMS is expected to be published and launched in November 2016 during the celebration of the Philippine Antibiotic Awareness Week 2016.

DOH Launches Action Plan to Combat Anti-Microbial Resistance

          The Department of Health (DOH) spearheads the 1st Philippine Anti-Microbial Resistance (AMR) Summit which aims to address the misuse of antibiotics driving the emergence of AMR by making bacteria and viruses stronger that make them withstand the effect of antibiotics. AMR has become common in the clinical and community settings. AMR is the ability of microbes, such as bacteria, viruses, parasites, or fungi, to grow in the presence of a chemical or drug, which would normally kill or inhibit its growth

     “AMR is a natural phenomenon resulting from the adaptation of microbes to external threats but it is aggravated by man-made causes. The increase of drug-resistant microbial strains has been associated with inappropriate prescribing, dispensing and use of antibiotics by healthcare providers and patients.” Health Secretary Janette P. Loreto-Garin explained.

     The annual reports produced by the Antimicrobial Resistance Surveillance Program of DOH – Research Institute for Tropical Medicine, have shown increasing rates of resistance among various pathogens. Many of the causative bacterial pathogens in the ten leading causes of morbidity in the country have also acquired multiple drug resistance and at the forefront is Tuberculosis. As far as multi-drug resistant TB or MDR-TB (resistance to Rifampicin and Isoniazid) is concerned, the Philippines ranks 6th (i.e. China, India, Russia, Pakistan, and South Africa) among 27 identified countries. MDR-TB among new cases in the Philippines was found to be at 2%, and 20.9% for previously treated cases.

     In April 10, 2014, Administrative Order (A.O.) No. 42 entitled “Creating an Inter-Agency Committee for the Formulation and Implementation of a National Plan to Combat Antimicrobial Resistance in the Philippines” was signed by President Benigno S. Aquino III. The Interagency Committee aims to formulate and implement plans that can rationalize and streamline the efforts of different government agencies such as the DOH, Department of Agriculture (DA), Department of Science and Technology (DOST), Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), and Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) to address the AMR problem.

     In view thereof, the DOH led in the finalization of a National Action Plan on AMR through the Inter-Agency Committee on AMR (ICAMR). This year, the ICAMR approved a 3-year action plan entitled Philippine Action Plan to Combat Antimicrobial Resistance: One Health. The action plan specifies the strategies, activities, outcome indicators and budgetary requirements to control and prevent AMR by addressing the following key areas” (1) Commitment to comprehensive, financed action plan with accountability and civil society engagement; (2) Strengthening of surveillance and laboratory capacity; (3) Sustainable access to essential medicines of assured quality; (4) Regulation and promotion of rational use of medicines; (5) Enhancement of infection prevention and control; (6) Fostering of innovations and research and development for new tools; and (7) Development of a risk communication plan.

     “This action plan will not simply stand as a document. It is a start of greater work and responsibility that needs to be addressed.  In order to win the fight against AMR we need to work hand-in-hand. All of us have a responsibility. Magbasa. Magtanong. Kumonsulta. Malaki ang magagawa ng mamamayang may kusa para sa bayan.” Garin concluded.

Training Workshop for DOH-Pharmacist on the WHO Methodology on Antimicrobial use Monitoring

 

     In line with the national agenda to combat antimicrobial resistance (AMR), the World Health Organization (WHO) conducted a training workshop for DOH pharmacists on the WHO Methodology on Antimicrobial Use Monitoring, last August 9-10, 2016 at the BayLeaf Hotel, Manila. Representatives from the WHO Headquarters, Western Pacific Regional Office and Country office served as resource speakers for the workshop namely, Dr. Arno Muller, Dr. Ketevan Kandelaki and Mr. Eric Salenga. The Dean and the former Dean of the UP College of Pharmacy, Dr. Monet Loquias and Dr. Imelda Peña reported the results of the different studies on antimicrobial use in the Philippines and the Philippine Antimicrobial Consumption Report of 2011-2013.  

 

     Pharmacists from the DOH-Central and Regional Offices 1, 8 and 11 attended the workshop and were tasked to be the members of the National Team for Antimicrobial Use Monitoring headed by the Pharmaceutical Division. By October, the Philippine data of 2014-2015 shall be evaluated and forwarded to the WHO headquarters as part of the global initiative “WHO 2016 Survey on Antimicrobial Consumption”.